chapter  4
Restitution from the state
Pages 29

Confi scation of profi ts from traffi cking is provided for by international obligations, domestic legislation and executive policy.1 Article 23(3) of the Traffi cking Convention,2 ratifi ed by the UK, imposes an obligation on member states to adopt such legislative and other measures as may be necessary to enable it to ‘confi scate or otherwise deprive the instrumentalities and proceeds of criminal offences established in . . . this Convention, or property the value of which corresponds to such proceeds’. Article 15(4) imposes an obligation ‘to guarantee compensation for victims in accordance with the conditions under its internal law, for instance through the establishment of a fund for victim compensation . . . which could be funded by the assets confi scated from traffi ckers’. Such a fund, for example, was created by the Israeli anti-traffi cking legislation.3 This chapter attempts to show that victims of traffi cking have a private law restitutionary claim against the state, with respect to money the state confi scates from traffi ckers as proceeds of traffi cking. Therefore, an attempt by victims to enforce the Traffi cking Convention’s soft obligation to create mechanisms which would compensate victims is not victims’ only recourse.4